Published On: Mon, Feb 17th, 2014

Sint Maarten and Curacao Ministers of Economic Affairs Sign Cooperation Protocol; Minister Palm impressed with port and airport operations

MinTEATT Curacao Minister Hon Stanley Palm and Sint Maarten Minister Hon Ted RichardsonPHILIPSBURG, WILLEMSTAD – Curacao’s Minister of Economic & Tourism Affairs Hon. Stanley Palm and Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (MinTEATT) Hon. Ted Richardson, on Saturday at the Government Administration Building in Philipsburg, signed a Protocol Agreement outlining four areas of collaboration between the two countries.

The protocol paves the way for further collaboration between both countries and their respective ministries with respect to their ports of entry (airport and seaport) where assistance and exchange of knowledge and expertise can take place.

The second area of collaboration is between both Ministries of Finance to seek ways to finalize the division of assets of the former Netherlands Antilles, including but not limited to the Foundation Economic Development (SEO) and the Development Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (OBNA).

The third protocol area is collaboration between the responsible authorities of both countries, to seek adequate ways of representation and presence in the Caribbean, be it with regional organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Association of Caribbean States (ACS), and with regional development agencies, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The fourth protocol area of collaboration is in the broadest sense of the word for the exchange of information and statistics regarding Economic Development and Tourism.

Both parties understand that this non-binding agreement constitutes the first step for the start of collaboration between the Ministers and their respective Cabinets.

This milestone also marks the beginning of a fruitful and effective cooperation on areas of mutual interests for both countries, and the Ministers with the understanding that it will take full effect after the approval of the governments of the two countries.

Minister Palm stated on Saturday that this was a very significant development showing that both countries are willing to work together for the progress of their people and that by having a close relationship great things can be achieved.

Minister Richardson stated after the signing that there was a willingness to work with each other and that both countries have come very far adding that a lot can be gained from the knowledge that each country possess and from best practices.    

The two quick wins that both countries are looking to facilitate is the releasing of funds for economic development from SEO and OBNA.

Minister Palm was given a tour of the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities on Friday and he was very impressed with the port infrastructure.  The Minister was also given a tour of the Princess Juliana International Airport on Sunday.

Minister Hon. Stanley Palm was very impressed with the corporate structures that the port and airport operate under and how successful they have been in executing their business plans.

Imagine: L to R, Curacao Minister Hon. Stanley Palm and Sint Maarten Minister Hon. Ted Richardson just about to sign the protocol in the Dr. A. C. Wathey Legislative Hall on Saturday.

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